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Why This Program Is Important

The transportation industry drug and alcohol testing program is a critical element of the Department of Transportation’s safety mission. Pilots, truck drivers, subway operators, ship captains, pipeline controllers, airline mechanics, locomotive engineers, armed security personnel and bus drivers – among others – have an awesome responsibility to the public and we cannot let their performance be compromised by drugs or alcohol.

Working closely with industry, we have, over time, seen the number of crashes and accidents linked to drug and alcohol use by safety-sensitive employees decline.  Still, human risk factors remain, so there is much work to be done, and we cannot rest until we have eliminated the dangerous risk posed by illegal drug use and alcohol misuse in the transportation industries we oversee.

Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to ensuring that transportation employees are drug and alcohol free.  Employers should make sure that employees understand the personal and professional consequences of failing to comply, and supervisors must be trained to identify the signs of drug use and alcohol misuse.

Employers must also have strong drug and alcohol testing programs and employees must be removed from safety-sensitive duties immediately if they have violated drug and alcohol testing rules.  Employees must not be returned to safety-sensitive duties until they have been referred for evaluation and have successfully complied with treatment recommendations.

Together, we can make a difference.

I know you will join me in supporting these important measures.

Anthony R. Foxx
Secretary of Transportation
U.S. Department of Transportation
December 2013

Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

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